Written by Greg Giaconelli Wednesday, 20 August 2014 00:00
The Farmingdale Baseball League recently capped off its fourth annual 9/11 baseball tournament with a series of championship games, to ultimately determine which Long Island town reigns supreme. On Aug. 16, teams from 8U to 14U fought tooth and nail for the ultimate prize.
One of the most exciting games was the 12U championship between the Long Island Devils and hometown Farmingdale Greendogs. Farmingdale started off the tournament path by going 6-0 in group play as the Devils went 3-3. In the playoff portion of the tournament, the Greendogs shellacked the Ozone Howard Renegades 11-3, on Aug. 14, while the Devils staved off East Meadow from getting on the scoreboard, beating them 5-0.
It was a roller coaster matchup from the start, with early offense on both sides. But the Devils would tack on seven runs in the first inning, taking advantage of some of the Greendogs defensive miscues.
“It didn’t start off well” said Greendogs Head Coach Andrew Frigerio. “We were down 7-0 early and made a lot of mistakes.”
However, the Greendogs responded back in the bottom half of the frame to cut the deficit to three. Matteo Ramos got Farmingdale on the board with a two run triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Daniel Hickey to make it 7-3. Kevin Wilson then followed up with an inside the park home run to cut the lead 7-4.
“I told the kids as they came back to the dugout ‘It’s only the first inning. Six more innings left’” said Frigerio.
After trading runs on each side, the Greendogs refused to go down without a fight as the bats broke out again in the third. Ramos led the bottom of the third with a walk and Hickey singled to put runners at the corners for Wilson, who connected on another single to make it an 8-6 game. Matthew Contarino would even up the game with a two run triple and Justin Reece and Jason Miller added a pair of singles to put the Greendogs up 10-8.
Despite the Devils effort to add a run in the fifth, making it a one run game, Farmingdale would put the game well out of reach. Daniel Cordova drove in two runs to make it 12-9 and then a double from Michael Barletta and single from Dante Interlandi extended the Greendogs lead to five. The Greendogs would hold on in the top of the sixth and win the game 14-9, where they have earned their third championship in four years.
“They never gave up” said Frigerio. “They battled back and chipped away.”
After the game, both squads were presented with their honors as both the champions and runner ups and got together for a group photo with former Yankees pitcher Aaron Small.
For the 14U championship game, SUNY Farmingdale State College played host to an evening match-up between the Garden City Warriors and Brentwood Braves.
Unlike some of the pee-wees, the Garden City Warriors started the tournament in mid-July, finishing 4-2 overall, which earned them a trip to the semifinals against the Farmingdale Devil Dogs on Aug. 14. Each game in their run began on a low note as they struggled earlier in the games but would eventually battle back late. In the semifinal game, they came from behind by erasing a 9-1 deficit and won that game 13-11.
“Our boys never gave up. We believed in ourselves and supported ourselves,” said Garden City Head Coach Mark DiPierro. “We know we were here for a great cause and the kids responded and we came back, which brings us to this beautiful day here at Farmingdale State College.”
Brentwood entered the evening going 5-0 in group play and looked poised to continue their dominance on the diamond. Garden City tried to strike early in the first two innings but left runners on base in both. Brentwood struck first in the bottom of the second with an inside the park home run, a two run triple and sac fly that did the damage to put the Braves up 4-0.
In the bottom of the third, Brentwood would continue to set up and drive in more runs. They would add another run to chase Warriors pitcher Michael Toohig and extend the lead to five. Layne
Meyer came in to relief and surrendered two more runs before getting out of the jam where the Warriors trailed 7-0. The Braves would produce two more runs to extend their lead 9-0.
The Warriors had trouble stringing together hits with guys on base. Defensively, they weren’t on their game either. The pitchers had thrown too many pitches, which yielded a lot of hits, walks and wild pitches as the Braves took advantage of those mistakes with aggressive base stealing and timely hitting.
Garden City attempted to come back in the top of the seventh by adding two runs as Mark DiPierro reached on an error at first but that was all they could muster. Despite losing 9-2 in the championship game, Coach DiPierro was happy and proud with the team’s progression in the tournament and felt they played great. “I think we did everything we could to get the boys playing out here together. Everybody got to share a part in the day” said DiPierro. “We’re a great team. We played a great team and we did our best. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Friday, 31 October 2014 00:00
Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in nearby Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.
Event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00
It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00
The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets. Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half. The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board. The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards. In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.
—Submitted by Paul Caputo
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00
William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and
Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.
Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico.
The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.